Better Than A Selfie! Why You Need To Take A Drone On Your Next Family Vacation

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They seem to be everywhere these days, the almighty drone! If you’re spending time with the family, while you may be partial to a selfie or two, perhaps it’s time to take it to the next level? A family vacation could very well benefit from having a drone, but why is this, and what can you do to get some inspiration from this little flying contraption?

The Panoramic Views

Let’s start here! You could get different angles, perspectives, and an amazing family picture without having an extended arm in the frame. And yes, even if you go for one of those selfie sticks, you can still tell that it’s a selfie. You may not feel that you can trust a passerby to take a picture for you, but, if you’ve got a drone, you can truly capture the surroundings of where you are. If you want to provide pictures that last a lifetime, but also have an artistic quality to them, think about getting a drone, because you’ll be able to get all sorts of images.

It Will Spark Your Creativity

Living and working at home can sap your creativity, and as such, when you have the opportunity to go on vacation, it’s time to unleash your inner creative beast. Taking a drone doesn’t just mean it is a little toy for the kids to play with, but the different perspectives, options, not to mention never-ending fun you can have with a drone, will prove to be revitalizing. And if you don’t think that a drone can be that integral to someone’s life, check out the Off-road Lights blog and see just how many things a drone can do. It’s not just a way to get a few extra shots; it’s even something you can do to instigate a wedding proposal! Let your mind wander, and take the drone with you!

Let It Pique Your Interest

Let’s face it; using a drone is the perfect way to satisfy your curiosity. If there is something over a hill that you just not able to see, attach a GoPro, and get the drone over there! Of course, be careful not to cross restricted boundaries. When you are in certain areas, there needs to be some sort of common courtesy. But if you want to see what’s in a cave, and you don’t have the guts to venture in by yourself, let the drone do the work for you!

It Could Help You In Times Of Trouble

Going on a family vacation is one of those occasions where it’s relaxing and stressful in equal measure. If you’ve lost something, or you need to check the weather conditions after a storm, or you’ve taken your pet on holiday and they’ve disappeared, a drone can cover a lot more ground.

A family vacation is one of those exciting times, but if you think that your budget doesn’t stretch to getting a drone, it could add that extra edge to the vacation that you need. More than it being something you can fly around for a little bit, a drone can help capture additional images, but it can also be quite a lifesaver!

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Why a Portable Pocket Wifi Might Keep You Sane in Japan

Japan remains a tech giant, despite having been hit by a generations-long economic recession. It has some of the best internet infrastructure in the world, and it’s had it for longer than most countries in the world. That said, it’s critical to consider how you plan to stay connected when traveling or living in Japan.

While you can just use your mobile provider’s roaming service, we highly recommend you rent pocket wifi in Japan, or arrange for one to be delivered to you as soon as you arrive at the airport. There are several compelling reasons you’d rather rent a portable pocket wifi device than consider the alternatives, especially if you’re not planning to live in Japan for over a year.

Here are just a few reasons you should get a portable wifi device on your next trip.

Free wifi access is difficult to find

In contrast to most other developed countries, you won’t find reliable free wifi at most train stations and malls. When these are available, usually at hotels, they’re usually quite inconsistent due to the sheer number of people who may be using that connection. Having a pocket wifi device on hand makes it a snap to get connected wherever you may be.

You’ll find it easier to travel

Maps, street signs, and other important directions in Japan are of course, in hiragana and katakana. If you don’t have a good grasp of Japanese, it’s all too easy to get lost. This isn’t helped by the fact they also have an unusual map and address system that may vary depending on where you are. With a pocket wifi, you will spend more time at your intended location and less time getting lost.

There are no Offline Google Maps in Japan

In the Japanese market, Google does not allow the offline use of Google Maps, among many other things. Apple Maps also has its issues as well. With a ready internet connection, this problem becomes moot and it becomes incredibly simple to navigate around the country – particularly around the Japanese transit system, which can be quite confusing to visitors.

Countryside connectivity

Having an internet connection in the countryside is also a snap with a pocket wifi. Pocket wifi devices are still able to deliver a fast internet connection outside of cities, which is pretty incredible considering there are still cellphone dead zones in Japan. Without a pocket wifi, the only alternative would be to pay huge roaming charges, which can be unsustainable for many travelers.

Pocket wifi is cheaper than roaming

We all know how expensive data roaming can be. For travelers who need to be constantly connected, the final bill for a short trip could easily be hundreds of dollars, and it’s quite unsustainable for long-term travelers. A pocket wifi is a cheaper way to get online that allows you to connect more than one device to the internet. Contrast this with prepaid SIM cards, the other popular solution, which can only be used on one device.

The next time you go to Japan, just get a pocket wifi. Pocket Wifi rental companies like Japan Wifi Buddy can help you get connected as soon as you land in Japan, giving you peace of mind throughout your whole trip.

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What You Need to Know About California “City Shirts”

City shirts or shirts that have specific towns and cities as a theme are nothing ne. They have been a popular motif for t-shirts since shirt printing became popular. However, not all so-called “city shirts” are made equal. California city shirts are virtually a genre into their own for many reasons. Some of these include:

Different varieties

Unlike with many states, the sheer breadth and variety of shirt types are represented. California city shirts include tees (made popular by the film industry in Hollywood), raglans (made popular by Southern California surfers and punks), hoodies (a staple of wardrobes across the entire Golden State), tank tops (a Cali favorite all-year round) and even classic sweatshirts (no California college student would be without one). Given the state’s role in popularizing so many garments we take for granted today, it’s not surprising city shirts would come in so many different styles and varieties.

A selection of cities

San Francisco, Los Angeles, and other areas such as San Diego, Sacramento, San Jose, and the Inland Empire are all iconic places in their own right, and their residents as passionate about them as they are about their state. This makes collecting California city shirts a continuing challenge as a near-infinite deluge of designs are available, featuring different cities as a theme.

An ever-expanding selection of designs

Speaking of designs, more and more are added by shirt designers and enthusiasts every single day. With California’s status as a leader in world culture, tech, entertainment, and style there’s always something happening that will inspire a new shirt design. Even the skylines and the unique urban nightscapes have an iconic status, making these another existing theme in California shirt design.

Enduring popularity

We all know someone whose favorite shirt is one that shows off their love for their hometown. There’s just something about a well-designed, well-made shirt with a city theme that’s really earnest and endearing. This is especially true when the city in the design is something close to the heart of the wearer.

The earnestness that it takes to create a tribute to a city that you love is infectious – even if it is just a t-shirt. By owning and wearing a city shirt, you are expressing your love – and what can be more beautiful than that?

Awesome as gifts

California receives the most foreign and domestic tourists of any American state. We can guarantee that city shirts are among the most popular, if not the most popular types of gift items that tourists get for themselves and their loved ones.

The sheer breadth of the designs and the love that goes into making many California city shirts ensures that there is virtually a shirt for everyone. Do they live in a cold place? Get them a hoodie. Do they like to go to the gym? Get them a tank top. Not sure what to get someone? Just get them a T-shirt of your favorite city. It’s all good.

What are your favorite California city shirt designs? We’d love to know!

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9 Essential Tips When Flying with Children

You’ve probably heard about or had to live through the horror of getting stuck beside a screaming baby on a long-haul flight. Bored and angry toddlers can easily create havoc for parents and surrounding passengers alike. That is aside from the problems that parents have trying to keep up with their kids on top of all the logistics of flying. However, with the proper preparation, there are some things you and your family can do to make sure that your traveling experience goes as smoothly as possible. Here are nine essential tips for when flying with children.

Plan on Providing Entertainment for Your Children

Don’t expect your kids to sleep on the flight. You can ask for the kids to visit the cockpit, but you may not be allowed to do so. So for your own sanity and that of everyone else around you, bring multiple activities for your children. You can bring a tablet or eBook reader, but realize that they may get bored with it, break it, or the batteries may run out at some point. For that reason, you should bring backup entertainment options like coloring books and crayons, sticker books, story books, cards and stuffed animals. For younger children, bring at least one favorite blanket for them to hold on to.

Bring Snacks for Your Children

Let’s be honest – your kid may not be able or willing to eat the fancy lunch they’re serving on the flight. You might not want to trust them with the roast beef and green beans, or they may be allergic to the main course. Bringing snacks that they like ensures they won’t go hungry. They may not be happy when told dinner won’t be served for another hour or all of the sandwiches that they like may have been eaten by the time the stewardess gets to you, so having food they like ensures they won’t melt down because they’re hungry.

Plan Toilet Stops

Plan to make regular toilet stops, and then make extra stops when you’re going to be in line. This means you should go to the toilet right before boarding the plane. Give your kids limited liquids while on the flight so they don’t have to go to the toilet every five minutes.

Go for Early Boarding

Take advantage of early boarding if you can. It is easier to get your children and your luggage in place when there are fewer people in the aisle. This is the time you’ll be able to get assistance, if you need it. You may not even have to pay extra for the privilege. If the airline asks whether those with small children or otherwise need assistance boarding, speak up. Then see if you can get someone else to get the stroller and three carry-on bags in the overhead bin.

Invest in Rolling Car Seats

One of the simplest ways to save your sanity when traveling with young children is investing in an airline-approved car seat that rolls. Now you don’t have to juggle several suitcases and car seats. The ideal model will let a sleeping or busy toddler sleep in the car seat as you pull them along.

Connect with Other Parents

Whenever possible, connect with other parents on the flight. You could strike up conversations with them about their kids and yours, and your kids could entertain themselves by talking to their new best friends. It certainly doesn’t hurt if you can get spare diapers or tips from another parent. However, this doesn’t get you out of your responsibility to pack enough wet wipes, pull ups and diapers for your children.

Be Ready to Talk to a Flight Attendant

If you have a child under two, you should be ready to talk to a flight attendant when you board. They need to know if you’re going to have the child sitting in your lap during the flight. Knowing the rules on asking for a bottled to be warmed or how to handle diapers in advance helps you avoid potential disasters, because you cannot put them in the toilet. Don’t forget to ask how to hold the baby during takeoff and landing.

Prepare Them for Pressure Changes

Children will complain about their ears popping when you’re on a flight. Discuss this in advance, and know how they can alleviate it. Hint – that’s by yawning or chewing gum. If the children are old enough, bring gum on the flight so you have it on hand. For babies and toddlers, give them pacifiers or a bottle to have the same effect.

Know Your Rights

There is a chance that your flight will get cancelled. Make sure that you know your rights regarding flight cancellation compensation before you leave so you’ll know the procedure in case something happens. Services like AirHelp can get you several hundred dollars back that you could otherwise leave on the table. You should also know about the travel perks that may come with your credit card or travel rewards program, such as immediate cash payment if they lose your luggage for instance.

Follow these tips, and you’ll avoid many of the mistakes that make others regret traveling with their children. Furthermore, you will all be in a better mood when you reach your destination, ready to enjoy whatever awaits.

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5 Family Vacation Ideas That Work with Your Budget

Everybody enjoys a good vacation, but planning one can be quite the headache—and an expensive one at that. Not everyone can afford to fly out together to an exotic getaway, but just because you’re on a tight budget doesn’t mean you need to skip out on vacations altogether. Being smart with your money, as well as doing the right research, will help you get the most out of your budget as possible. At the end of the day, all you want is for the whole family to bond, have fun, and come home with happy memories.

Here are some budget-friendly ideas that you can use when planning your next vacation:

1. Plan a Hotel Staycation

Staycations are all the rage these days since it has all the components of what makes a great vacation, without having to travel so far away. But instead of staying in one place all day, why not switch it up a bit and use the time to explore? Choose a hotel with a strategic location, where you can experience the secrets of the metro without having to rush. Family-friendly hotels like Pinoy Pamilya Hotel in Pasay, for example, is centrally located near many historical sites and entertainment centers.

2. Go on a Road Trip

Why book a plane ticket when you can simply drive there? Packing the family into a car and setting off on an adventure is a favored vacation activity for many. You can plan a driving route that stops over in as many tourist spots as possible, pack your meals to ease up on the budget, and simply take photos as souvenirs. Another road trip option includes visiting a relative who lives far away and taking your time to get there to get the most out of your road trip.

3. Get into Sporty Activities

Shake things up and get active on your next family adventure. Go to a park or a nature reserve (you don’t even have to go far: UP Diliman has an open field to play in and the La Mesa Eco-Park has many fun activities the whole family can participate in), or you can also visit a bicycle park and rent bikes for everyone. Other activities you might want to try include hiking, swimming, kite-flying, rafting, obstacle courses, camping, rock climbing, and more. Many beach resorts even offer water sports, easily allowing you a way to spice up a regular beach trip.

4. Go on a Cultural Trip

Sometimes you don’t even need to go far to have fun. Going on a culture trip in Old Manila provides a jam-packed day of adventure on its own already: go museum hopping in the museum complex, bike through the historic walled city of Intramuros, walk through Luneta Park, catch a glorious sunset along Roxas Boulevard, then end the day on a ride at Star City. The beauty of Old Manila is that the attractions are located close to each other so you merely need to walk to each spot or hop on a jeepney to get there.

5. Go Home-Swapping

Renting an Airbnb is a perfect example of home-swapping. Budget-conscious families can go on a vacation in another region and experience life as it is lived there, as well as visit whatever attractions are nearby. This is best for families looking to go on a trip but can’t afford a fancy hotel. Home-swapping is also great since it provides a homey environment—almost replicating the thrill of just moving into a new home while providing all the comfort that home offers.

You don’t need a lot of money to have fun and make new memories with your family. With just a little creativity, as well as a dash of resourcefulness, you can go places—literally!

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